Master of Fine Arts

First Year Students


cameronCameron Burson graduated from UMSL in the Spring of 2013 with a degree in English, leaving a trail of broken promises to more than a few other academic pursuits, including art, economics, psychology, and fitness. In the end, he realized that taking a class that required writing simply because it would be a welcome distraction from the monotony of other courses was akin to taking Pepto-Bismol to cure a stomach ache while actively gorging oneself. While he has been involved in many industries that have been responsible for traveling and a wealth of experience, this desire to write drove him to seek out UMSL's MFA Program in the hopes of establishing himself according to the literary standards of those that came before him.


Sarah Y. Moore is excited to join the MFA program after a three year break from academia. While earning a BA in journalism from Truman State University, Sarah spent time working as a reporter for the university's news station and travel magazine.  Between deadlines, Sarah enrolled in several writing workshops which helped her discover her passion for writing poetry.  Although her day job is in business administration, she has always considered herself a creative writer above all.   When she's not drinking inordinate amounts of coffee and tea, Sarah enjoys frequenting small businesses and reading autobiographies.



Rafal Redlinski spent three sweltering summers tearing down high schools in Chicago before realizing that he was not cut out to live the life of a demolition worker. With that work experience in mind—along with the image of three pairs of work boots completely destroyed—he vowed to take his college coursework as seriously as possible. He graduated summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and is eager to start the MFA program at UMSL. His fiction writing is informed by the experience of being a first-generation American and the surprisingly permanent effects of an unsuccessful high school athletic career. Aside from writing, he is an avid poker player and an even more avid food-eater.


Glenn Boothe

Mary Grace Buckley is happy to be back at UMSL to join the MFA Program and devote herself to fiction.  She previously flexed her creative muscles as an undergraduate before earning her B. A. in English in 2012.  During that time, she participated in the Pierre Laclede Honors College’s creative writing club, After Hours, and served on the editorial committee of its annual literary journal, Bellerive.  In her final semester, as an undergraduate, she won the Bessy Paterson-Gephardt award for her short story, “Beyond.”  She served as an editorial intern at St. Louis Magazine during her senior year and later as a public relations intern at the Nine Network of Public Media, and she would love to pursue a career in journalism or public relations to support her fiction writing habit.  Her tastes and style currently run towards the whimsical and humorous, and she can’t wait to see how it evolves over the course of her time in the program.  Fun fact: she is an avid amateur trombone player who marched in the 116th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on New Year’s Day, 2005 with the Lindbergh High School “Spirit of St. Louis” Marching Band and currently plays in the community band at St. Louis Community College’s Meramec campus.

Christopher Cable

Daniel Musgrave spent seven years doing cognitive research with great apes before the unfairness of captivity finally became too much for him to bear.  For his work on ape gestures, he earned a M.A. from Iowa State University in Anthropology and received numerous awards for anthropological research. Daniel found the freedom of fiction writing to be the best salve for years spent in and around cages once he resigned. Now, his most sincere hope is that his writing will have a positive impact on animal welfare and force us to reconsider our conceptions of what it means to be ‘human’ and be ‘animal’ before it’s too late for many species. When he’s not writing, Daniel enjoys being outdoors, either biking or backpacking, and spending time with his dog and wonderful wife.

 Abigail Matthews  

Abigail Matthews joins the MFA program while continuing a career as a counselor. After receiving a master's degree in counseling, she worked as both a social worker and a counselor in private practice for nine years. She lived overseas in England for four years where she began to take seriously her love of poetry and the British sense of humor. Abigail loves her three cats, digging in her garden and spending time with her husband and friends.